Student Voice: Body Image vs. God’s Image

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Student Voice: Body Image vs. God’s Image

When you hear the word “Barbie,” what comes to mind? If you’re like most of us, you probably imagine a tall, skinny-as-a-rail, flawlessly-skinned, blonde girl wearing heels. When Mattel created Barbie in 1959, they created the perfect girl—or at least they thought so.

Over the years, Barbie has evolved to include a variety of hair and skin colors, but one thing has never changed—her shape. But this too is about to change. Seeking to “reflect a broader view of beauty,” Mattel announced that Barbie will now be available in three new, diverse body types.

Now, little girls around the world can look more like the doll they play with.

Barbie will hit stores on March 1 in tall, petite and curvy body shapes.

So, what does this have to do with us? I am almost positive no one at BJU still plays with Barbie dolls, but we often still think about body image.

In today’s society, we all feel pressure to look a certain way—men included. If you are short, you get picked on. If you are tall, you get picked on. If you are thick, you get picked on. Even if you are skinny, you get picked on.

A lot of times we think body image applies only to women, but men are expected to look perfect too. Hollywood gives young men and women the idea that men should be super tall, totally ripped and have great hair.

We, of course, know that it is impossible for us to achieve movie star status overnight or sometimes at all, and it really shouldn’t be our goal anyway.

But such high expectations leave men and women uncomfortable in their own skin and discontent with the body God has given them.

By acknowledging different body types, Mattel is attempting to make  a positive impact in the lives of young children who hopefully, will not grow up believing they’re not pretty enough.

However, no matter how much the Barbie doll changes, there will always be issues with body image. As Christians, we know that we are made perfect through Christ.

After all, God did create us in His image.

We are not perfect in the physical sense, but we will be in eternity. Ecclesiastes 12:7 serves as a good reminder of the body’s mortality: “Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.”

A new Barbie doll design cannot make you feel complete and perfect. But knowing that God—the One Who spoke the trees into existence, painted the sky, designed the mountains and filled the ocean  breathed His life into you most certainly can.

So, the next time you look in the mirror, remember you are looking at God’s handiwork. And He doesn’t make mistakes.